With the release of the IdeaTab S2109, a new 9.7-inch tablet, Lenovo is trying to stay relevant in the tablet market. Known for their laptops, Lenovo has not been able to make a significant splash in the tablet market.
But with a market saturated with Android tablets, will Lenovo’s budget tab offering be a case of too little, too late?
How it Looks
The Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 is sleek looking. It’s black on top of a gun-metal gray finish and measures at 9.7×7.3-inches and 0.35-inches thick. It’s comparatively as thin as the current crop of tablets available. It weighs 1.28lbs/580g, which makes it one of the lightest 9.7″ tablet on the market.
As for the physical buttons and ports, this tablet has microSD expansion, micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a mic/headphone jack. The usual volume rocker and power button are there, but one thing you might notice is there is only one camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing one.
Interestingly the Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 sports four speakers on the back allowing for faux-surround sound.
The 1024×768 9.7-inch IPS LCD display is best compared to the iPad 2, which bears the same screen specs. However, the IPS allows for a wider viewing angle and much less glare. And even though the resolution does not match up to the offerings of many of the new tablets arriving to the markets, the display is not bad at all.
Under the Hood
Here’s where it gets a little murky. With so many tablets coming out powered by the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, its odd the S2109 went with a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor. Even with it being a budget tablet that alone makes it trail behind many similarly priced devices.
While Lenovo rates the battery life at 10-hours, independent stress tests have shown that with semi-heavy use, it barely makes the 7-hour mark. In all, it may sound like this tablet is a little behind the times. However, relatively speaking, those times were just the end of last year.
On the upside, it comes with 1GB of RAM and either 8, 16 or 32GB of internal storage. Another positive for the IdeaTab is that it comes with Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. So it won’t fall behind with old apps or anything like that.
The IdeaTab S2109 is definitely a step up from its two predecessors, the IdeaPad K1 and the ThinkPad Tablet. But that’s about it.
There is a bunch of high end 10-inch tablets that are coming out around the same time. When the IdeaTab 2109 is compared to the likes of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and Acer Iconia Tab A700 or with the more similarly priced Toshiba Excite 10, Acer Iconia Tab A510 and Transformer Pad TF300 it just cannot compete in terms of screen resolution, speed and battery life.
Spec for spec, the Lenovo IdeaTab competes more directly with tablets like Toshiba Excite 10 LE, Acer Iconia Tab A200 and Samsung Galaxy Tab2 10.1. If the choice came down to this tablets, then maybe you might want to give the Lenovo tablet a closer look as others are a bit more expensive.
A step up model Lenovo IdeaTab S2110 is now available for pre-order on Amazon. In comparison to IdeaTab S2109, a US$50 more expensive IdeaTab S2110 features a larger screen (10,1″), higher resolution (1280 x 800), faster CPU (Qualcomm 8×60 dual core at 1.5 GHz) and dual camera.